German toy boy needs lobola in the zoo

German toy boy Makoko the Gorilla appealed on Thursday to Jo’burgers to dig deep into their pockets to assist him with paying lobola for Max the Gorilla’s widow, Lisa.

Makoko (19) moved from Munster Zoo in Germany last November to be with the 33-year-old Lisa, who has been single since the death of the crime-busting Max last May.

Speaking on behalf of Makoko at a media briefing at the Johannesburg Zoo, curator Phillip Cronje said people can make a R5 contribution by SMSing the word “gorilla” to 36365.

Makoko will pay lobola for Lisa on Valentine’s Day.

Several reporters who made donations received a reply from Makoko that read: “Thank you for your support. I’m madly in love with Lisa and need to raise lobola before Valentine’s Day.”

Makoko, who has yet to be introduced to Lisa, then made an appeal for a further donation.

Cronje said the money will be used to improve the new couple’s enclosure, and possibly buy a plasma screen and camera so that the gorillas can be viewed inside their rooms in bad weather.

The zoo has budgeted to upgrade the facility but the donations will ease the burden, he said.

Asked what would happen if Lisa rejects her suitor, Cronje—apparently a seasoned match-maker—said: “That is not going to happen.”

“In all the animal introductions that we have done here, we have never had a failure.”

He said the two will be introduced to each other over several weeks, with the first meeting planned for next week.

Given her age, it is unlikely that Lisa will be able to fall pregnant, so the zoo will begin a search for other younger females to partner Makoko.

“They will be lovely companions but Makoko is very young. We will look for other younger females and Lisa will play the matriarch,” said Cronje.

Makoko will be introduced to the public at the weekend.—Sapa

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